OPEC Asked to Form Petrochem Department

OPEC Asked to Form Petrochem DepartmentOPEC Asked to Form Petrochem Department

Iran has proposed OPEC establish a department for petrochemical issues, managing director of the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) said Tuesday SENA reported.

"Because most oil producers in the Middle East are OPEC members, we proposed the organization to set up a special petrochemical department," Mohammad Hassan Peyvandi said, adding that members can hold specialized meetings every six months. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, is the world’s biggest oil group that aims to manage the supply and price of oil and curb market fluctuations. It was established in 1960 by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. It is headquartered in Vienna and has 12 member-states.

He called on domestic and international companies to invest in the petrochemical industry and stressed that "investment in petrochemical infrastructure" would be profitable, given the country's "exceptional position" due to proximity to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

Iran has plans to increase petrochemical production capacity to 180 million tons by 2022. As part of the plan, methanol output would rise to 25 million tons per year within the next five years. Present annual petrochemical output capacity is 60 million tons. However, last year's output was nearly 20 million below this figure due to shortage of feedstock. Petrochemicals comprise approximately 40 percent of Iran's non-oil exports.